UST like the Bible, in the Book of 1 Cor-
inthians 15:45, acknowledges Jesus Christ
as the second Adam, circumstances and
behavioural patterns are beginning to draw
global attention to Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji,
a.k.a. BAO, the 12th Chief Executive Officer
of the 27-year-old Ekiti State, as the second
and present day Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN,
a.k.a. BRF, former two-term Lagos State Gov-
ernor. This is on account of his (BAO’s) ways
of doing things through which he is putting
the smiles on the faces of many and receiving
national and international accolades.
Having said that, let me start with a confes-
sion: That I have spent a substantial part of my
life, thus far, in Lagos before natural circum-
stances of life withdrew me in 2019 from the
Centre of Excellence as Lagos is relishly called.
From those early days on the grounds
of CMS Grammar School, Lagos, the first
Secondary School in Nigeria, founded by Rev.
Henry Venn, on June 6, 1859, to my student-
ship days at the University of Lagos, to the
Media Industry and finally to the Financial
Services Industry, I savoured the aroma and
relished all what Lagos pleasantly stood and
probably still stands for.
But that is not the point in issue. The meat
of this discourse is the fact that within the
almost four and half decades I lived in Lagos
(1975 to 2019), I got familiar with and accus- tomed to some of the behavioural architecture
of all the Chief Executive Officers that ever-
ruled Lagos State – be it Military of Civilian.
I am tempted to submit that of all the
Governors of Lagos State that I know, the
urbane, suave and lanky immediate past Federal Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, (BRF), stands tall on account of
the civility he brought to bear on governance
in Lagos State.
Within those eight years that BRF was
at the helms of affairs as the Captain of the
ship of Lagos State between May 29, 2007 to
May 29, 2015, he earned himself the enviable
reputation of a Chief Executive who would
not blow the siren any time he was in the
hectic and most times frustrating Lagos traffic.
Rather, some good guy and a typical example
of leadership by example, he would sit in traf-
fic like every other ordinary Lagosian!
BRF was the man who would not flaunt his
position and office to intimidate other road
users simply because he was wearing the toga
of the Governor of Lagos State.
Perhaps because he is a lawyer and member
of the Inner Bar (as a Senior Advocate of Nige-
ria) for that matter, he respected and obeyed
laws, including traffic laws, to the letter, and
the admiration of many. He did not use (or
rather he did not abuse the use of sirens)
which in many cases have led to ghastly but
certainly avoidable accidents that claimed
many lives, limbs and means of livelihood.
Two experiences will suffice here.
Piqued by the perceived nuisance value of
the ubiquitous and ever-impatient commercial
motorcycle operators known as ‘Okada’ riders
in Lagos, BRF on November 24, 2011, stormed
the streets to personally caution some opera-
tors who rode against the traffic. This was
before two of his Commissioners announced
the ban of Okada Riders from Lagos streets.
The Governor, who was returning from
Apapa area where he had gone to commission
the LSDPC Housing Scheme, intercepted the
Okada Riders by directing his security aides
to stop the erring motorcyclists riding against
the traffic on the highway, before handing
the culprits to law enforcement officials for
The arrests took place at Apapa –Ijora Link
Bridge, just as the then Lagos State Commis-
sioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, and
his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode
Opeifa, jointly addressed newsmen to place a
tactical ban on the operations of commercial
motorcyclists in the State.
The second incident was when BRF on
Tuesday, July 17, 2012, arrested a Military Of-
ficer and an Army Staff Sergent for driving on
the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane at the Outer
Marina in Central Lagos.
Fashola who insisted on zero tolerance for
lawlessness was quoted as saying: “I don’t
use the BRT lane; I sit down in traffic, and I
expect everyone who wants to drive his car to
do the same. The alternative is to use the bus.
“The bus is for those who cannot afford to
buy cars. They have the right also to use the
road and we cannot encroach on that lane
which we have reserved for them. This is
democratization of the road, and I will defend
And now to Governor Biodun Abayomi
Oyebanji of Ekiti State. I have been in traf-
fic with BAO in Ado-Ekiti twice. The first
time was on Sunday, October 1, 2023. I was
driving behind his five-vehicle convoy on
Ijan-Ado-Ekiti Road. Of course, I knew it was
the Governor’s convoy. But what amazed me
was that no sirens were blown, and nobody
was harassed off the road because a Governor
was passing by. He took his time. He did not
overtake any vehicle. Rather, trust them, the
ubiquitous and the ever-impatient Okada
Riders were overtaking his convoy. He was
not perturbed. He maintained his cool and of course, his aides borrowed a leaf from him.
The second time was on Saturday, October
7, 2023, on the same Ijan-Ado-Ekiti Road.
This time around, I was in front of his convoy.
The glowing lights on his security vehicles
confirmed that the first citizen of Ekiti State
was around. I drove as far as Matrix Filling
Station, opposite Ado Grammar School, to
buy some fuel. Even though I spent about 15
minutes at the Filling Station, the Governor’s
convoy was not in sight throughout that time,
a confirmation of the maritime speed his
It was after I had pulled out of the Station
that I saw BAO’s convoy virtually crawling
back to base. What a lesson in humility!
With the string of successes already
recorded by Ekiti State within his first year in
office, BAO has started well, and the people
have acknowledged that he is doing well. He
therefore deserves the support and prayer of
all Ekiti Ketes and others living in the state
to pilot the affairs of the state for it to take its
rightful place in the comity of states and be-
come the envy of other states in the country.
One can only wish the mercurial BAO
the grace and the good health to nurture his
dream for a better and greater Ekiti State to
Just like the late Premier of the Old Western
Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, told
Hon. Justice Kayode Eso when the Secretary
to the Western Region’s Government, Chief
Oluseye Ejiwunmi, took the erudite Justice to
the Governor on the grounds of Government
House, Agodi, in 1965 during the trial of Prof.
Wole Soyinka, “Olorun a fun